The second leg of the Triple Crown will be without Kentucky Derby winner Country House, or Maximum Security.
By Chad Cooper | Twitter @thechadcooper
It’s the first time in 23 years the Derby winner skips the Preakness. In fact, the first four horses to cross the finish line in the Derby won’t be in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes that takes place this Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore at 5:45 p.m. CST.
Since 1980, only seven horses that skipped the Derby have won the Preakness. The last was in 2017 with Cloud Computing who paid $28.80.
First, the bad news – the betting favorite has won 14 of the last 33 Preakness Stakes and has run 2nd, 9 times. The 2nd betting choice has won 9 times. In the last 11 Preakness races, the favorite has won it 7 times. And since 2001, 14 of the last 18 winners have paid $8.80 or less.
Good news – we are Degenerates. We will bet turtle races.
The weather is expected to be clear on Saturday in Baltimore, so here is a look at your field for the 144th running of the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.”
1 – War of Will (4-1)
This colt ran 7th in the Derby and had issues in the race thanks to Maximum Security taking the worst of the issues in that race. Most of the speed in this race is inside, so I expect him and the 3-Warrior’s Charge to dart out early. Remember, he beat Country House in the Louisiana Derby by 2+ lengths. Underlay. Could win.
2 – Bourbon War (12-1)
Owners of this horse paid $410K for him and he has 2 wins in 5 starts, no stakes victories. The colt was 2nd in the Fountain of Youth but was a disappointing 4th in the Florida Derby. He is really slow out of the gate so trainer Mark Henning will use blinkers on him for the 1st time. Could hit the board, but would need a lot of help to win. If early pace gets hot and heavy, Bourbon will liquor up.
3 – Warrior’s Charge (12-1)
Interesting new shooter here. This Florida-bred colt has won his last 2 races going gate-to-wire but neither were against stakes competition. I’ll say this his race times are faster than some of the other horses and his post position isn’t that bad for a front runner. Bad news – he gets his 4th jockey in 6 stars. The owners are paying an extra $150K to get this horse in the race.
4 – Improbable (5-2)
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith gets the call on the favorite for trainer Bob Baffert, who if wins, will have 8 Preakness trophies. This $200K purchase hasn’t won in 2019, but 2 of those were over a sloppy track. He was 4th in the Derby and will eat up all the chalk-players $ on Saturday. His resume is better than this field and is your likely winner, so we will try to beat him and put him 2-3-4 on our exotic ticket. If he doesn’t win, I don’t want to hear another excuse.
5 – Owendale (10-1)
The most inconsistent horse in this field is Owendale. He comes into the Preakness with an upset win in the Grade 1 Lexington, but he got romped in the race before, which was the Risen Star. So is this colt a 1 hit wonder? Probably so.
6 – Market King (30-1)
The 30-1 odds are generous. The owners of this colt paid $550K for him and his only win was in a Maiden Special Weight. In his last start in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes, he lost by more than 17 lengths. He is a frontrunner, but I like to call these types of horses – pops & stops. His trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, did win this race in upset fashion in 2013 with Oxbow.
7 – Alwaysmining (8-1)
The locals at Pimlico are all over this horse. He was bred in their home state of Maryland and has a 6-race win streak. Now, none of those races were against Graded stakes company, but this crop of 3-year-olds aren’t blowing anyone away. If he avoids an early hot pace duel, he could…
8 – Signalman (30-1)
I love a good longshot horse to use in my trifectas & superfectas. He won’t win, but it will be his 3rd race off a layoff and has some decent late pace where he can pick up some pieces to hit the board at a good price.
9 – Bodexpress (20-1)
This horse has yet to win a race in 6 starts, but he has been consistent. His 2 clunkers were on sloppy tracks, so let’s throw them out. His odds are 20-1, not 30 or 40 for a non-winner in a Triple Crown race. Jockey Johnny Velazquez on board, which is also intriguing. Will use in exotics.
10 – Everfast (50-1)
He won his debut race and then lost his next 9 starts. Four races back in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes, he ran 2nd at 128-1 odds. Don’t see much to like here.
11 – Laughing Fox (20-1)
My favorite type of horse is a closer and this $375K purchase is a closer. Just 3 wins in 7 starts, he came 9+ lengths off the pace to win by a neck in a small stakes race at Oaklawn in an 11-horse field. He was 4th in the Arkansas Derby behind Omaha Beach, Improbably and Country House. All I need is this horse to hit the board.
12 – Anothertwistafate (6-1)
This Kentucky bred colt has been 1st or 2nd in 5-of-6 career starts. His last out was in the Grade 3 Lexington where he finished 2nd behind the 5-Owendale despite some trouble down the stretch. With an outside post position, he could grab the early lead and not look back. If you like the Hardy Boyz of the WWE, this is your bet.
13 – Win Win Win (15-1)
Win Win Win had a wide wide wide trip in the Kentucky Derby. He got left at the gate and it was all over. He has been really consistent, as he has hit the board in all but 1 of his 7 races. Trainer will add blinkers and he does possess late gas. I’d be surprised if he won, but like the odds and running style to use on my tickets.
Ok, so we are down -$516 thanks to the Kentucky Derby. The Preakness usually doesn’t pay a bundle, so we will bet smart and hope that Brooks Koepka (+1100) wins the PGA Championship.
Bet 1: $10 win: 7,8,9,11,13 ($50)
Bet 2: .50 cent tri: 4,9 with 1,4,7,8,9,11,12,13 with 1,4,7,8,9,11,12,13 ($42)
Bet 3: $50 show 11 ($50)
Bet 4: $20 place/show 8 ($40)
Bet 5: $18 show 9 ($18)
Total bet: $200